Grant helps with child­care ser­vice train­ing

Kalgoorlie Miner - - NEWS - An­drew Bros­nan

An Esper­ance child­care ser­vice can now af­ford to send its staff on pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment cour­ses af­ter se­cur­ing a $12,000 grant from the State Govern­ment.

Es­care Inc. was yes­ter­day an­nounced as one of 19 or­gan­i­sa­tions to share in grants to­talling $238,000 un­der the Re­gional Com­mu­nity Child Care De­vel­op­ment Fund.

The money will go to­wards train­ing staff to meet the Na­tional Qual­ity Frame­work, a chal­lenge for re­gional ser­vices with lim­ited fund­ing.

Es­care of­fers af­ter-school and va­ca­tion child­care ser­vices and serves as a creche dur­ing the work­ing week. It can cater for up to 30 chil­dren at any given time and has about 90 fam­i­lies en­rolled.

Ser­vice man­ager Joanne Aberle said there were still ar­eas of the NQF Es­care needed to im­prove and the grant would al­low the or­gan­i­sa­tion to meet those stan­dards.

“We charge fees but the fees here ba­si­cally just cover the costs of wages and run­ning the cen­tre,” she said.

“It’s quite dif­fi­cult to get that PD (pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment) hap­pen­ing and there’s na­tional qual­ity stan­dards for child­care, so there’s still a few ar­eas that we need to im­prove on.

“We’ll get that PD and we’ll get those poli­cies em­bed­ded into our prac­tice — this is all about get­ting the prac­tice into pol­icy and hav­ing it re­ally en­trenched into our ser­vice de­liv­ery.”

Com­mu­nity Ser­vices Min­is­ter Tony Simp­son ac­knowl­edged the dif­fi­culty re­gional child­care ser­vices faced be­cause of their iso­la­tion and said the grants would help ad­dress those chal­lenges.

“Ed­u­ca­tors in re­gional WA face unique chal­lenges in pro­vid­ing ser­vices as a re­sult of dis­tance, iso­la­tion, re­liance on vol­un­teers or lack of funds,” he said. “It is vi­tal that peo­ple in the re­gions have ac­cess to qual­ity child­care ser­vices.”

Pic­ture: Joanne Aberle

Bradley Whi­ley and Chase Coul­ter are some of Es­care’s clients who will ben­e­fit from the grant.

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